John Milton Jones, 92, of Vienna, Virginia, died peacefully at his daughter’s home in July 2022 and joined his beloved wife of 63 years, Dorothy Tenney Jones, who predeceased him in September 2019 .
He was a loving father to Nancy (and her husband, Ken Schroeder), Stephen (and his wife, Beth Niedbala) and Susan (and her husband, Steven Field), and the doting grandfather of eight grandchildren: Matthew and Ryan Schroeder, Danielle and Gregory Jones, and Justin, Nicholas, Natalie and Julia Field.
The second son of Genevieve Hefner and Glennville Jones, John was born at home in Buckhannon, WV on December 21, 1929. After his father’s sudden death in 1943, John held several part-time jobs and graduated from Buckhannon-Upshur High School in 1947. With a letter of offer signed by J. Edgar Hoover outlining a six-day work week, John joined the FBI in Washington, D.C. in early 1948, at the age of 18. 1951 to 1955, then resumed his work at the FBI.
While at Buckhannon on leave from the Navy, John was introduced to the love of his life, Dorothy (Dotty) Louise Tenney, whom he married in June 1956. The person who introduced them, Stephen A Lane, would become an important part of the family when he later married John’s mother. Dotty and John named their son after Stephen.
While working full-time at the FBI, John earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southeastern University in Washington, DC. Job transfers and promotions to Special Agent followed, with assignments in Buffalo and New York, returning to DC in 1969.
In 1970, the family moved to Lakevale in Vienna, Virginia, and soon became one of the founding families in building the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church Church on Hunter Mill Road, where John was treasurer. John and Dotty bowled in a neighborhood bowling league and hosted an annual neighborhood crab feast on the 4th of July, as well as many celebrations at their house over the years.
John’s career focused on fingerprint identification, where he was in charge of the FBI’s latent fingerprint section. John was also a leader and member of the FBI’s Disaster Squad, involving mass deaths of American citizens. John was instrumental in the development of the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) during the 1970s and 1980s. After his mandatory retirement as a special agent, John worked full time as a lecturer, instructor and consultant for the next eighteen years. This groundbreaking work has been featured in various technology and law enforcement venues, including an interactive exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution.
John’s passions included oil painting, bird watching, gardening and the beauty of West Virginia. John had a sharp wit and wit, beautiful handwriting, a disciplined work ethic and a very strong commitment to duty and service. In addition to his wife, John was predeceased by his parents, as well as his sister-in-law and brother, Mary Lou and William Maurice Jones, and Dotty’s brother, Ronald Tenney. Left to cherish his memory are his children, their spouses and his grandchildren; sister-in-law, Patty Tenney; nieces Cheryl Tenney Harpold, Rebecca Sue Tenney and Deborah Jones Maddy, several cousins and many friends.
On Saturday, September 10, 2022, there will be a gathering of family and friends from 1-2 p.m. at Hampton United Methodist Church on Hampton Road in Buckhannon, WV. A memorial service at the church will begin at 2 p.m., followed by interment at Hampton Cemetery. The Upshur County Honor Guard will bestow military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations in John’s memory may be made to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), U.S. Disaster Response and Recovery (umcmission.org/umcor) or the FBI University Fellowship Program (socxfbi.org/ SFSA/Donate/FoundationGeneralFund).